Flyers’ winless streak hits four in 6-2 loss at Vancouver

Justin Braun

For much of this season, the Flyers had dominated the Western Conference, compiling a 11-6-4 record through action of Feb. 9.

But since then, the numbers have gone south.

Including Saturday night’s 6-2 to the Canucks at Vancouver, the Flyers have dropped four straight decisions to opponents from the opposite conference, including the last three in regulation time. It was the Flyers’ second consecutive 6-2 defeat.

Offense has once again become an issue for the Flyers. Since a 4-0 win over Winnipeg on Jan. 28, they have scored just 11 goals in their last six games.

Philadelphia rallied from an early deficit to the Canucks but then surrendered a pair of goals in the second period and could not rally at Rogers Arena.

Their season record fell to 22-25-10. Carter Hart took the loss in net for the Flyers.

“We played better,” said coach John Tortorella, referencing Thursday night’s 6-2 loss at Seattle. “We need to find some more offense consistently. I thought our effort was better than the last game.”

Anthony Beauvillier and Elias Pettersson paced the Canucks’ attack each with a pair of goals.

After Beauvillier’s first goal at 14:24 of the first period, Scott Laughton tipped in a Justin Braun shot at 15:56. It was Laughton’s 13th goal of the season, tying his career high.

Braun’s initial shot was blocked but he scooped up the rebound and fired at the net. The shot nicked off Laughton’s stick and past goaltender Arturs Silovs.

“They were coming hard at us,” Braun said at the first intermission, referring to Vancouver’s effort in the first half of the opening period. “We worked on cleaning up our breakouts, turnovers. They’re a fast team so if you make mistakes, they’re going to make you pay.

The Canucks took control with goals by Andrei Kuzmenko and Beauvillier in the second period.

Kuzmenko scored at 1:53 with ex-Flyer Luke Schenn picking up the primary assist. Then Beauvillier tipped a point shot past Hart at 13:35.

The Flyers closed the Canucks’ lead to 3-2 with a goal from Morgan Frost at 17:28. Travis Konecny’s close-range shot was blocked by Silovs but Frost pounced on the rebound and scored off his own rebound.

Vancouver restored its two-goal margin on a goal by Phillip Di Giuseppe at 10:04 of the third period. Hart couldn’t control the rebound of a long shot and Di Giuseppe poked in the loose puck.

Pettersson hit a pair of empty nets with 1:57 and 40.3 seconds to play for a four-goal lead. That completed a two-goal, three-assist night for the Canucks star.

Some of the Flyers sounded a bit discouraged after the game.

“The difference (between this game and Thursday’s), we actually shot the puck on net a bit,” Hart said. “Maybe not quality chances but got pucks into the blue and just whacked away.”

Hart blamed himself for the Di Giuseppe goal.

“That fourth one is on me,’’ Hart said. “It’s one I’ve got to have. It squirts under my glove. That’s the game so I’ve got to be better.”

Laughton knows the intensity of games goes up this time of year and the Flyers haven’t been able to match that level lately.

“I thought we were more aggressive (than Seattle) but if you don’t get the results, you’re not too happy,” he said. “You just have to find ways to win at this time of year. It’s a really tough time of year with the games tightening up. We have to find a way to make something happen.”

>Konecny continues strong play

Konecny followed up Thursday’s two-goal effort with another solid performance. He had seven shots on goal and also hit a goal post.

“He’s begun to find his game, no question,” Tortorella said. “Sooner or later you knew it was going to come back. We just need to get other guys going. I don’t think we played a bad game but we just don’t develop enough offense.”

Konecny’s pair in Seattle gave him a new career high (26). His play in this game was just as good.

“Our line was kind of around the net all night,” Konecny said. “Just one of those nights where the puck was sitting there. I thought there was no quit. You can look at the final score. . .it’s not a reflection of the game. We worked really hard, we believed in ourselves. They just had a few more bouncss that ended up in the net.”

>Short shots

The Flyers head to Calgary for an afternoon game on Monday. . .Tortorella went with a seven-defensemen alignment and just 11 forwards. . .Frost ended a 10-game goal drought. . .It was former Flyer Rick Tocchet’s first game against his old team as a coach for the Canucks. . .Silovs registered his first NHL victory.

Avatar photo
About Wayne Fish 2446 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.